Student Choir Kudos

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By Eric Betthauser

Ian Grimshaw
Ian Grimshaw

Every November, selected high school singers travel to a live audition for the All-District Choirs. This year, the auditions were held at William Monroe High School. Each singer takes part in a blind audition for two judges, singing a piece indiviually, then doing eight measures of sight-reading.

Of those who are chosen for All-District Choir, juniors and seniors can next audition for All-Virginia Chorus, an annual event sponsored by the Virginia Choral Directors Association (VCDA). The audition is much the same, but the competition is more fierce, especially for girls.

Around 300 of the best high-school singers from around the Commonwealth are selected to be in either the SATB (“Mixed”) Choir or the SSAA (Women’s) Choir. Western Albemarle senior Ian Grimshaw was chosen for the Mixed Choir and junior Ellie Weikle for the Women’s Choir.

The 2013 All-Virginia Choruses, three rigorous days of rehearsing culminating in a Saturday afternoon concert, were held April 25-27 at Hanover High School in Mechanicsville.

For the Virginia State Middle School Honors Choir, each singer records and mails in an audition recording, of “America (My Country ’Tis of Thee)”, a major scale in a specified key, and a prepared song. This year, the Virginia chapter of the American Choral Directors Association received more applications than ever before. Yet Henley 7th grader Chloe Horner made it through. She was rewarded with three days of music-making of the highest level in Mechanicsville, working with choral director Andrea Ramsey. The choir members performed in a manner far beyond their years.